Welcome!

The Public Service Department (PSD) is an agency within the executive branch of Vermont state government, and is charged with representing the public interest in energy, telecommunications, water and wastewater utility matters.

The mission of the PSD is to serve all citizens of Vermont through public advocacy, planning, programs, and other actions that Chris Recchia Photomeet the public's need for least cost, environmentally sound, efficient, reliable, secure, sustainable, and safe energy, telecommunications, and regulated utility systems in the state for the short and long term.

We work to advance Vermonter’s quality of life, economy and security through implementation of our statewide energy and telecommunications goals,  using sound statewide energy and telecommunications planning, strong public advocacy of the public good, and through strong consumer protection advocacy for individuals. 

For more information about the PSD, please visit our About Us page.

Christopher Recchia, Commissioner
     

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Announcements:

 

Connectivity Initiative RFP

Vermont Public Service Department Issues First Request for Proposals under the Connectivity Initiative

Montpelier, Vermont – The Public Service Department today issued its first request for proposals under the new Connectivity Initiative, pursuant to Act 190 passed in 2014. The RFP invites Internet Service Providers to submit proposals to serve locations identified by the Department as needing improved access to broadband Internet service. The Department will award grants to organizations willing to serve these areas. The Department will utilize up to $963,350.00 in available funding to support the extension of broadband facilities in underserved communities.

Public Service Commissioner, Christopher Recchia, stated “the Connectivity Initiative will play an important role in continuing Vermont’s effort to bridge the connectivity divide between rural and urban communities.” Broadband speeds to underserved areas are the focus of the new initiative. “We hope that through the Connectivity Initiative we can increase the speed and quality of broadband service in Vermont’s hardest-to-reach areas,” said Commissioner Recchia. Any technology will be accepted, so long as it meets the minimum service characteristics contained in the RFP.

To initiate the process, the Department identified over 1,700 locations eligible for support through this first round of funding. The lowest acceptable speed for funding under this RFP is 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload, but the Department encourages solutions that provide higher levels of service. “We want to bring these communities the best quality broadband service we can with our funding,” stated Recchia.

A copy of the RFP, along with a list of eligible locations, can be obtained by visiting the Public Service Department online at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/topics/connectivity or by emailing the Department at psd.telecom@state.vt.us. The proposal deadline is March 18, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. 

VERMONT YANKEE NUCLEAR POWER STATION OFFICIALLY DISCONNECTED FROM THE GRID

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station officially disconnected from the grid on December 29, 2014, at 12:12 PM Eastern Standard Time.  The reactor was manually shut down at 1:04 PM, following a controlled reduction of reactor recirculation flow and a sequential insertion of the plant’s regulating control rod groups. The shutdown occurred without incident.

 

Governor Peter Shumlin released the following statement on the closure of Vermont Yankee:

“The closure of Vermont Yankee marks the end of years of controversy over operation of a nuclear plant in our state. I have long advocated for the closing of this plant at the end of its original license, and I believe the ceasing of operations today after nearly 43 years represents a positive step for our state and our energy future. Today, thanks to investments in renewable energy such as solar, Vermont's energy future is on a different, more sustainable path that is creating jobs, reducing energy costs for Vermonters and slowing climate change.

 

“I know this is hard news for the many Vermonters who have relied on the Vermont Yankee plant for employment and economic opportunity in Windham County and beyond. I want to thank the employees of the plant for their hard work over the years. My administration will continue working with local communities to ensure that the Windham County region grows jobs and economic opportunity as operations wind down at Vermont Yankee. We will also continue to work with Entergy and community partners to ensure that decommissioning happens as promptly and smoothly as possible.”

 

In December 2013, the Governor, Attorney General Bill Sorrell, and Bill Mohl, President of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, announced a settlement agreement between the State and Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee that resolves all ongoing litigation between the State and Entergy VY and provided a path to resolve proceedings at the Public Service Board.

 

Under the terms of that agreement, Entergy VY agreed to close the facility before the end of 2014, and will provide $10 million in economic development for Windham County over five years and $5.2 million in clean energy development support for Windham County and elsewhere, as well as a transitional $5 million payment to the State for calendar year 2015. Entergy VY also agreed to set aside a new $25 million fund to ensure the site is restored after decommissioning. 

 

In a message to the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel, Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia said that while Vermont obviously disagreed with the continued operation of the facility, everyone’s efforts at ensuring safe plant operations this past year, as well as the efforts of all to meet the scheduled shutdown consistent with the settlement agreement, were appreciated.  “I look forward to working constructively with everyone on the timely transfer of fuel to dry cask storage and ultimate decontamination and dismantlement of the property as soon as possible,” Recchia added.

2014 Telecommunications Plan

The Department of Public Service, in conjunction with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Information and Innovation, is pleased to announce the release of the final 2014 Telecommunications Plan. The Plan addresses the major ongoing developments in the telecommunications industry, including broadband infrastructure development, regulatory policy and recommendations for future action.

“This Plan is the product of a rigorous public input process. The Department carefully considered the proposals made by members of the public and the telecommunications industry in response to the Department’s final draft,” said Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia. The final plan includes added recommendations on “make-ready” and pole attachment policy, net neutrality, and it provides a more in depth look at the cost of deploying fiber to the home to every E911 location in Vermont.  The Plan calls for a prioritization of State supported projects that ensure locations with the slowest available broadband speeds receive priority for upgrades.  “The comments we received during the public and legislative review process helped us make this plan much stronger” Recchia said, adding “I appreciate the efforts of all those who commented and we made every effort to constructively address those comments in this final plan.”

The Plan also discusses ongoing developments in the provision of telephone and cable. In addition the Plan provides an analysis of state government telecommunications infrastructure. The Plan presents readers with an overview of the last ten years and what the State should focus on over the next ten years to ensure Vermonters have access to the best available telecommunications services. “It is our hope that this plan will help guide Vermont’s future telecommunications policy.”

The 2014 Telecommunications Plan is available electronically at the following link:

2014 Telecommunications Plan